Tacoma, WA Tacoma Hotel Fire, Oct 1935

Tacoma WASH Tacoma Hotel Burned.jpg



Tacoma, Oct. 18. -- (AP) -- Only a gaunt and dismal spectre of the former splendor and distinctive beauty, the bare and windowless walls of the burned Tacoma hotel building awaited the placing of dynamite charges after decision today that the picturesque brick and masonry must immediately come down.
Destruction of the remaining walls and chimneys -- one of them towering 120 feet above the street -- was ordered by C. D. FORSBERG, city engineer, and Commissioner FRANK T. CALLENDER, of the department of public safety.
Special powder men were being summoned from Dupont, and it was planned to start dynamiting operations late this afternoon, so that part of the debris which must fall on "A" street can be cleared away as soon as possible, and the street reopened to traffic.
Fears that anyone may have lost his life in the $500,000 hotel fire were allayed today with announcement by hotel operators that all guests registered in the hotel Wednesday night had now been accounted for. It was also announced that all employes had likewise reported themselves safe.
Much of the basement debris was still flooded deep with water Friday, so that several days will possibly be required before the huge pile of twisted and burned remnants of the former comforts and elegance can be cleared away. City firemen continued to play three streams of water this morning, however, on parts of the burned north section of the building, in which stubborn flames continued to burn.
Despite the fact that hotel officials feel confident that there was no loss of life among any of the more than 120 guests, or the employes staff, city fire officials were not entirely convinced that everyone had been able to leave the building. It is pointed out that there might have been persons in the building whose presence was not immediately recalled, such as tradesmen or passersby who had sought to aid in the rescue work and been overcome by smoke or fumes.
While MR. HICKEY, manager of the hotel, has already announced the structure will be rebuilt, expressions of regret continued to be heard from Tacomans today that the atmosphere of the 53-year old hotel cannot be duplicated in the construction of a modern day hotel building on the site of the famous hostelry.
The hotel had been intimately associated in the social and business activities of thousands of Tacomans in past years and had grown to be regarded as a gathering place with a style and air not to be found in any other hotel in the Northwest.
In early attempts to break down some of the remaining walls and chimneys which were believed to constitute a hazard to safety, city firemen linked three hose lines to a single nozzle Thursday afternoon, but were unable to cave the walls inward or to phase the towering chimneys so plentiful in the building.

Centralia Daily Chronicle Washington 1935-10-18